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Utilise Our Body as a Blessing for the Others and Ourselves


By The Revd Fan Chun-ho 

        As organ donation is against the Chinese tradition that the body should remain whole after death, Hong Kong people generally show negative attitude towards organ donation. Then, how about the Christians in Hong Kong? Can they donate organs? Would it make their bodies incomplete to face God after death, affecting their resurrection? On 24 December 2007, Hong Kong Christians answered these questions by action – the Church recruited two thousand members to sign the organ donation card together, giving the best Christmas gift to Hong Kong. But what is the theological standpoint of these Christians to support organ donation?
        To explore this issue, we have to see what our role and mission are when God creates humans. We all know that humans are created by God according to His image. We are God’s co-worker to create and to manage everything on His behalf in the secular world. History, however, tells us that humans fail to perform their mission once and again due to greed and selfishness. Nonetheless, God has not changed humans’ mission as He has assigned. Arthur Peacocke, a theologian as well as a biochemist, thinks that humans who are still endowed with the Creator’s features should join hands with God’s co-worker to improve the well-being of all creatures with their gifted creativity. And this includes the medical research and development of organ donation because it is for the sake of human health, also our duty as God’s keeper in the world.
        Does it mean we should acknowledge all medical or scientific development which is beneficial to human beings? Jürgen Moltmann, a German theologian, believes that humans’ God-assigned mission to manage and to co-create is based on the mutual respect among all creatures basically as nobody shall talk about one’s dignity without respect of all the other creatures. Sharing the image of God, humans should love their fellow creatures with the Creator’s love. It is also God-endowed mission for humans to show their love and respect to other creatures for we are all created by God. Humans should thus respect, protect and love all God’s creation – this is also our act of love and respect to God.
        For further elaboration, not only should we strive for advancements in medicine and science for the sake of humans and the world, we should also learn from Jesus Christ to help the others by sacrificing ourselves. Apart from creative thinking, we should worship and contribute to other people in the mercy of God. Organ donation gives us such an opportunity to offer the bodies of the deceased to the patients in need. “I can no longer use my body. Take it if you need it,” the deceased told the helpee. As for living organ donation, the donors said, “I am healthy, and I am willing to share my bodies with you as you are in emergency.” It is just like how the Christ sacrifices Himself as the blessing for us all. In the same vein, Christians can offer themselves to help other people by donating organs.
        However, will organ donation mix up our bodies for resurrection? From the nature of the Trinity, God is in the fellowship of love Himself. In the process of organ transplantation, people can break our barriers by giving and receiving organs for each other. Isn’t this “you in me and me in you” love fellowship a reflection of God’s image? Revived bodies ought to be an inter-related and heart-to-heart community. Let’s utilise our bodies as a blessing for the others and ourselves!

2011-04-06   更新
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